Gary Tester, executive director of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, accepted a $5,000 award from the Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation (MDRT) presented by MDRT member Michael Aun on April 6, 2016. The money will be used to support the efforts of the St. Thomas Aquinas Free Medical Clinic in St. Cloud, a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida that provides health care to uninsured men, women and children in Osceola County. Services include medical care, case management, preventative health education programs, specialist referrals and referrals to community social services.
Aun is one of the recipients of the MDRT Foundation Quality of Life Grant Program which honors the selfless volunteer efforts of MDRT members who give their time to serve charitable causes in their own communities and worldwide. As a recipient he is able to designate grant funding to a charity of his choice. A supporter of the clinic since its inception, Aun believes in the mission of the clinic and helps in any way he can, particularly by raising awareness and funds in the community to assist the clinic’s operations.
“The kind of work we’re doing there is for the greater good. It’s good for the community, it’s good for the underinsured, the uninsured, the people who can’t get the benefits elsewhere,” explains Aun. “Sometimes I will pass the clinic at 6 o’clock in the morning on my way to start my business day and there are people sitting in the yard waiting to be seen that afternoon. That’s how demanding this need is. We could run 24/7 easily.”
The St. Thomas Aquinas Free Medical Clinic has been providing free medical care to uninsured men, women and children who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty level since 2008. In the last five years alone, the medically underserved, low-income individuals and families of Osceola received 6,101 patient visits at our clinic. As a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, their mission is to provide vital social services to people in need regardless of their religious, social or economic background, to improve the lives of individuals, families and the community.